Generative Ambient Music With A Moog Mother-32 & Ableton Live

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Sunday Synth Jam: This video, via Claus Gahrn, captures an ambient piece, Polaris, based on a Moog Mother-32 + Ableton Live generative patch.

“In this generative patch, I sequenced the Moog Mother-32 from Ableton Live,” notes Gahrn. “I used a 16-step sequencer with independent control over note, velocity, and gate step length. The MIDI velocity (via Assign) controls the Mother-32 Filter Cutoff as well as the LFO Rate.”

You can view the Mother-32 patch details below:

Patch notes:

Mix CV – LFO Tri
VCF Cutoff – Mult 1
VCF Res – LFO Tri
LFO Rate – VC Mix
Mix 2 – Mult 2

M²Synth 5U Modular Synth Now Available To Pre-Order

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Soundtronics has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of the M²Synth, a full-size 5U modular analog synthesizer system that’s designed to be affordable and expandable.

“We set ourselves the challenge of designing a modular synth that would not only sound great and look the part but be more affordable than other similar-sized systems,” they note. “After 2 years of R&D, we are excited to reveal the M²Synth. With your help, we can put the M²Synth into production and allow more budding analog enthusiasts and established musicians to enjoy the wonders that 5U modular synths bring.”

The focus of their launch campaign is on complete modular synth systems. After the Kickstarter systems ship, they plan on making all systems, modules and Pods available individually.

Soundtronics shared these goals for their system:

  • A complete solution, not just focusing on module manufacturing
  • Significantly lower cost than comparable synths
  • To retain the retro module look but in a modern sleek design
  • To reduce the overall size of the modular, especially depth (low profile)
  • Portability for those gigging or going to meets
  • Expandability without obsolescence
  • Robust and hard-wearing
  • Ease of use and not ‘fiddly’

Here’s a sample patch, featuring their Chord 102 VCO, State Variable Filter 112, 2 LFOs and an ADSR:

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Pricing and Availability

The M²Synth is available in a variety of configurations to project backers, with pricing starting at about $1,371 for a 9-module system.

Note: Kickstarter projects can involve risks, which is documented on the project site.

Expert Sleepers Introduce Persephone JFET VCA For Eurorack Systems

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Expert Sleepers has introduced Persephone, an analog VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier) that uses a discrete JFET (Junction Field Effect Transistor) as the gain element.

The JFET can be tastefully (or violently) overdriven for saturation/distortion effects.

Persephone also includes a zero-crossing detector, which can be used to restrict gain changes to zeros in the audio waveform, preventing clicks and pops that can occur with very fast envelopes, especially on lower pitched sounds. With the zero-crossing circuit engaged, you can use a simple gate as the CV input without clicks.

The module’s signal and CV paths are 100% analog.

Pricing & Availability

Persephone is available now, with the following pricing: UK £159 (inc VAT), US $185 (exclusive of sales tax), EU €185 (inclusive of VAT)

VastWave Complex Analog Oscillator Designed For Going Beyond Subtractive Synthesis

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TEIA Synthesizers shared this video demo of the VastWave complex analog oscillator module for Eurorack modular systems.

The VastWave offers advanced waveshaping capabilities that are designed to allow ‘textural and harmonic exploration beyond subtractive synthesis’.

Features:

  • Voltage controlled complex waveshaping
  • Triangle core
  • FM input with voltage controlled amplitude for FM amplitude modulation
  • On board linear Glide
  • Voltage controlled Pulse-width modulation for Pulse and Final Pls waveforms
  • Modern temperature and tuning stability
  • High Frequency (VCO) or Low Frequency (LFO) operation
  • External Timbre input with sine wave normalization if no external source is patched
  • Attenuator/inverter knobs on all voltage controlled inputs
  • Inverted or double Sawthooth waveform (selectable by jumper)

Pricing and Availability

The VastWave oscillator is available now for 360€.

Mystic Circuits Introduces Leaves Turing Machine Expander Module

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Mystic Circuits has introduced Leaves, a new Eurorack module that’s a voltage sequencing expander for their sequential switching module Tree. 

It’s based on the open source Turing Machine expansion protocol, which means that it works with any other modules that host Turing Machine Expanders, including Turing Machine, Vert, Grayscale Permutation and others.

Leaves is designed to support many complex sequencing possibilities, with multiple inputs and outputs and the capability to daisy chain many expanders to a single host.

Designed with non-linear sequencing in mind, Leaves is the beginning of a set of expanders intended to grow Tree from a unique sequential switch into the center of a flexible modular sequencing environment.

Each of Leaves four outputs correspond to a different range of sliders, and each of those outputs has its own dedicated transpose input. All outputs can have a 0 – 5V range but, by default, the final output (which reacts to all eight sliders) has a 0 – 2V range, which makes it more useful for note sequencing. This also makes the slider’s center detent indicate one octave of range, whereas setting the slider fully up gives two octaves of range.

The sliders feature an eight-color LED rainbow that corresponds to the colors on the host Tree, making it easy to identify which steps are active across an entire range of expanders.

?Leaves is fully open source and all relevant files are hosted on the Mystic Circuits Github page. Much attention was paid to the expander port itself, each expander port is buffered at the input to avoid issues when many modules are chained together. The expander ports are duplicated to allow for easy daisy chaining of many modules to be hosted by a single expander.

Pricing and Availability

Leaves and Tree are available now via the Mystic Circuits site, priced at $250 and $180 USD. Escape From Noise in Sweden is also expected to have both Leaves and Tree in stock soon.

Synthesizers.com Intros Q169 Oscillator ++ Dual Oscillator Synth Voice

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Synthesizers.com has introduced the Q169 Oscillator++ module, a dual-oscillator synth voice that features a wide array of cross-modulation possibilities, an LFO, envelope generator and sample-and-hold functions in a triple-wide MU panel.

The Oscillator++ can be used as a dual oscillator in a traditional synth patch, as a stand-alone voice, as a pair of FM operators for additive synthesis, as independent functions, or as a complex modulation source.

Both audio oscillators are paired with a VC amplifier, and each can modulate the other’s pitch, pulse width and amplitude at the same time and in variable amounts.

Developer Roger Arrick says that the Q169 is the equivalent of 10 modules and 20 patch cables, arranged in a musically-useful and understandable way.

The optional Q168 Aid module provides patch points for LFO waveforms, the envelope, noise, S&H and a multi-purpose invertable attenuator.

Here’s a quick demo of a dual-oscillator synth voice patch:

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Pricing and Availability

The Q169 Oscillator ++ and Q168 Oscillator++ Aid are available to pre-order now, with intro prices of $612.00 and $162.00 USD.

MOK Miniraze Synth Pairs Cutting Edge Synthesis With Easy-To-Use Interface

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MOK today introduced Miniraze, a new wave-slicing software synthesizer for Linux, Mac & Windows that’s powered by their patented wave-slicing engine.

Miniraze lets you slice & splice waveforms into a huge range of unique sound, ranging from warm, retro analog vibes to aggressive, futuristic sounds. But, while it uses a new type of synthesis, it pairs this with a straightforward layout, inspired by the interface and workflow of the Moog Minimoog.

In addition to the wave-slicing oscillators, Miniraze offers: two filters in series, each with 11 options; 4 syncable LFOs; 4 ADSR envelopes; 9 effects; and more.

To commemorate the release, MOK is also offering a curated sound bank of Miniraze patches, created by top artists and sound designers, to help support the Bob Moog Foundation.

“Miniraze pays homage to Bob Moog by presenting MOK’s latest synth technology in a Minimoog-style top panel,” said Taiho Yamada, co-founder and VP of Product at MOK. “It’s cutting-edge DSP meets classic synth design, for fast and fun sonic discovery. The goal is to make our advanced wave-slicing engine super accessible by delivering it in a simple and familiar user interface.”

At the heart of Miniraze are three of MOK’s unique wave-slicing oscillators, streamlined versions of those found in MOK’s Waverazor synthesizer. The oscillators can combine two waveforms, from a selection of more than 100 classic and modern types, to create a huge range of sounds.

For even more sonic possibilities, Miniraze includes multiple low-frequency oscillators, assignable ADSR envelopes and a flexible modulation matrix. Other features include a built-in arpeggiator and nine onboard effects.

Inspired by the original Minimoog synthesizer, the user interface is divided into discrete segments: an oscillator bank, mixer and modulation section. The familiar layout is designed to let you quickly design unique sounds from scratch, without having to hunt through menus.

Users can also customize the user interface with a choice of 34 languages and 18 color themes.

The Bob Moog Foundation 15th Anniversary Miniraze Sound Bank

MOK is also collaborating with the Bob Moog Foundation to release an exclusive Miniraze BMF sound bank, featuring patches created by an all-star team of artists and sound designers, including Mark Mothersbaugh, composer and co-founder of DEVO.

All proceeds will be donated to the Bob Moog Foundation, to support programs like Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, the Bob Moog Foundation Archives and the Moogseum in Asheville, NC.

“As we do our part to move the art and science of synthesis forward, we recognize that we are standing on the shoulders of giants,” continued Yamada. “It’s hard to imagine within today’s musical landscape, but before Moog synths existed, few people on Earth had ever heard an electronically synthesized sound. There was a sense of exploration and discovery back then that we hope to bring back with Miniraze and the Bob Moog Foundation 15th Anniversary Sound Bank.”

Features:

  • Patented wave-slicing oscillators
  • Straightforward East Coast-style layout makes it easy to program complex patches
  • Two filters in series, each with 11 options including subtractive and generative types
  • 4 synchronizable LFOs modulate anything from vibrato to dubstep wobbles
  • 4 ADSR envelopes, including a dedicated amp envelope with velocity modulation
  • Vast Modulation Matrix for under the hood modular-style patching
  • 9 onboard effects, including Delay, Reverb, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, distortion and more
  • Built-in arpeggiator produces intricate patterns and random notes from chords
  • Unison Mode for thick and fat voice stacking
  • Analog button adds subtle organic randomness to the system
  • 11 colors of noise available to add a variety of textures to your sound
  • External Audio input lets you process instruments, voices and other sounds
  • Ring Math processor provides 21 different types of ring modulation
  • Compatible with AAX/AU/VST on Mac, PC and Linux
  • Support for 34 languages, including Sanskrit, Elvish and Klingon
  • Exclusive Bob Moog Foundation sound bank available (proceeds donated to BMF)

Pricing and Availability

Miniraze is available now for $129 in the MOK store. The Bob Moog Foundation 15th Anniversary Miniraze Sound Bank will be available for $49.

Sextuple Quadraphonic Spatial Director Now Available To Pre-Order

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Kilpatrick Audio and A Yellow Sine have introduced the Sextuple Quadraphonic Spatial Director (SQSD), is a fully analog performance-oriented joystick controller and quadraphonic panning mixer that can be used as a standalone device or integrated into a Buchla system.

The SQSD combines six joystick, capable of generating control voltage, with a six-input equal panning mixer, allowing for intuitive and fun control of spatial sound in both stereo and quadraphonic speaker configurations.

Each of the six joysticks generate two control voltage signals: one for each axis of motion. These CV outputs can modulate parameters on compatible voltage-controlled electronic music equipment. A Banana to Minijack Adapter kit is available to connect the SQSD to 3.5mm control voltage destination or sources.

Quadraphonic sound involves the use of four speakers to create an immersive listening experience in which sounds can move around the listener, from front to back, side to side and everywhere in between. It’s been a long-time surround format popular with Buchla users.

Two dedicated location control inputs are available for each of the six channels. You can connect control voltage signals from a sequencer, envelope or LFO to these inputs, but the joysticks are a nice, natural fit. If you want to move a sound to the rear left-side, just move the joystick to the rear-left side. Want to make a sound rotate around the room? Just rotate the joystick and the sound will follow.

The twelve joystick CV outputs and location control inputs are grouped together, and can be easily patched with shorting bars. Convenient DIP switches on the back of the unit normalize these connections without the need for any patching.
DIP switches also allow for the selection of either 0 to 10V or -5V to +5V CV ranges for the location control inputs.

The last part of the SQSD is the mixer section. Up to six channels of sound can become part of the quadraphonic or stereo spatial direction, with each channel having its own dedicated level control and LED indicator light. There’s a main mix output control as well with LEDs for each of the four outputs.

The SQSD is designed to integrate seamlessly with an existing Buchla-format setup, but a self-contained, powered enclosure option is also available. This allows for quadraphonic panning right out of the box, with no additional hardware required.

Features:

  • Buchla (4U) two space module
  • Low-noise CV and audio signal path
  • No digital circuitry used – 100% analog design!
  • Six channel quadraphonic mixer with voltage control
  • Six joysticks with X and Y outputs: 0-10V = L>R, 0-10V = S>F
  • Six quadraphonic constant-power directional panners with voltage control
  • Internal normalling switches to connect joysticks to directional panners
  • Directional panners can accept -5V to +5V or 0-10V (DIP switch selectable)
  • Audio inputs support >10Vpk (>20dBu) max input level
  • Audio inputs have 0dB/+10dB selectable gain (DIP switch selectable)
  • Audio outputs support >10Vpk (>20dBu) max output level
  • Audio input and output signal level indicators (-16dB min. indication)
  • Audio jacks available as Switchcraft 3.5mm minijacks or Tini-Jax®
  • Banana jacks use Johnson / Cinch banana connectors
  • High-quality brushed anodized aluminum panel
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pricing and Availability

The SQSD is available to pre-order for $1,750 USD, or $2,250 USD with the custom-made, powered enclosure.

Strymon Intros StarLab Time-Warped Reverberator For Eurorack

Strymon Intros StarLab Time-Warped Reverberator For Eurorack

Strymon has introduced StarLab Time-Warped Reverberator, a modular reverb effect in Eurorack format.

The module can create lush reverbs; add chorus, flanging and modulated delays; act as a synth voice with Karplus-Strong string synthesis; and more.

Features:

  • Three selectable reverb types for a wide variety of ambient textures
  • DELAY/KARPLUS section with feedback
  • Delay assignable to output for mod/verb and delay/verb effects
  • Four-octave Karplus-Strong string synthesis mode with damping control for string/verb full voice capability
  • LFO section with various waveforms to modulate delay time, reverb size, or tone filters
  • FILTER section to sculpt the high and low EQ of the reverb and DELAY/KARPLUS section
  • HARMONICS section to enhance the aural spectrum of the reverb
  • Adjustable SHIMMER for adding pitch shifting of up to +/- 1 octave to the reverb
  • GLIMMER for dynamic enhancement of harmonics
  • Adjustable reverb core size to increase or decrease the space for reflections, allowing for pitch control of the
  • regenerating reverb content
  • 4-pole 24dB/octave variable resonance low pass filter
  • INFINITE freezes the input audio prior to the reverb tank
  • Independent WET and DRY level controls

Here’s an in-depth demo from sound designer Pete Celi:

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Video Chapters:

00:00 What is StarLab?
00:27 Control Layout
01:00 Sparse Reverb Texture
02:42 Size/Pitch Control
03:54 Dense Reverb Texture
05:06 Diffuse Reverb Texture
06:18 Infinite Button
07:03 Filter Section
08:18 Low Pass Filter Q
08:59 Harmonics Section
10:03 Shimmer Interval
10:50 Regenerating Shimmer
12:00 Glimmer
13:12 Expanded Pre-delay
14:55 Echo Feedback
16:09 Tap/Trigger CV Input
17:22 Input Gain
18:20 LFO Target: Delay (Mod Effects)
19:23 Externally Clocked Delay + Mod
20:05 LFO Target: Pitch
20:59 Size/Pitch Quantize
22:09 LFO Target: Filter
23:21 LFO Shape: Envelope
24:13 Karplus-Strong String Synthesis
25:59 LFO in Karplus Mode
27:17 CV Tuning in Karplus Mode
27:54 String Damping
29:06 Fine Tune
29:41 Karplus Mode LFO Target: Filter
30:43 Portamento (Glide)
31:25 Karplus with Input
32:12 Tuned Infinite Voice
33:02 Onboard Favorites

Pricing and Availability

The Strymon StarLab is available now for $649 USD.

Analogue Solutions Intros Black Colossus Synthesizer

Analogue Solutions Intros Black Colossus Synthesizer

UK synth maker Analogue Solutions has introduced a limited edition Black version of their Colossus modular synthesizer.

Like the original, it’s a modular monster – visually inspired by the classic EMS Synthi 100, but with circuits based on AS’s own Polymath, Telemark & Vostok synths. It’s not designed to be practical – it’s designed to be an over-the-top, “once in a generation” mega synth.

And, while some might consider the £25K price of the Colossus obscene, the massive instrument has proven popular enough that Analogue Solutions announced a fourth production run earlier this year.

See the AS site for details on pricing and availability of the Black Colossus.